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BMC Public Health. 2013;13 Suppl 3:S18. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S18. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Breastfeeding for reducing the risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality in children under two: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suboptimal breastfeeding practices among infants and young children <24 months of age are associated with elevated risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the protective effects of breastfeeding exposure against pneumonia incidence, prevalence, hospitalizations and mortality.

METHODS:

We conducted a systematic literature review of studies assessing the risk of selected pneumonia morbidity and mortality outcomes by varying levels of breastfeeding exposure among infants and young children <24 months of age. We used random effects meta-analyses to generate pooled effect estimates by outcome, age and exposure level.

RESULTS:

Suboptimal breastfeeding elevated the risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality outcomes across age groups. In particular, pneumonia mortality was higher among not breastfed compared to exclusively breastfed infants 0-5 months of age (RR: 14.97; 95% CI: 0.67-332.74) and among not breastfed compared to breastfed infants and young children 6-23 months of age (RR: 1.92; 95% CI: 0.79-4.68).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results highlight the importance of breastfeeding during the first 23 months of life as a key intervention for reducing pneumonia morbidity and mortality.

PMID:
24564728
PMCID:
PMC3847465
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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